What kind of Bubble is AI?

Concord, Maynard and Hudson Street Railway Company bond certificate

Cory Doctorow has an interesting article about AI: What kind of Bubble is AI. I generally agree with the fact that it is a bubble, and the only question is whenever it will leave something positive behind it. I’m not convinced by the example of the DotCom bubble as the positive example – the positives he mentions are mostly in one US city. For me the typical bubble that leaves something useful behind the railway mania of 1840: it created the infrastructure which in many countries is now considered the basis of public service.

I also think that Cory Doctorow misunderstands the point of AI assisted work, yes you will need human supervision, but the same can be said about any power-tool, and if an human with AI assistant reviewing X-rays can make less mistakes, then this would be a huge productivity boost, even if full automation would be out of reach. Whenever this productivity improvement will materialise, or will be countered by more AI generated noise is the interesting question.

Bond certificate of the Concord, Maynard and Hudson Street Railway, issued in 1902 – Public Domain

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